Commute Trip Reduction Explained

Greater Efficiency Through Alternative Transportation

The Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Efficiency Act encourages getting to work by alternative commute transportation options (other than driving alone) through employer-based programs. Washington’s population is growing by 100,000 people each year, at the same time the number of miles we drive each year is increasing. With an increase in vehicles miles traveled, we also experience an increase in air pollution, traffic congestion and fuel consumption. Over 50% of air pollution is caused by motor vehicles.

Cost to Fuel Motor Vehicles

Each year, Washington citizens spend $2 billion to fuel motor vehicles, the largest single use of petroleum in the state. All this driving means Puget Sound’s I-5 corridor has been rated one of the worst congestion points in the nation.

Commute Trip Reduction Law

In 1991, the Washington State Legislature recognized a need to do something about these increasing problems and adopted Washington State’s Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) Law. The CTR Law was incorporated into the Washington Clean Air Act as RCW 70.94.521-551.

CTR Promotes Partnerships

Since 1991, CTR has brought business and government to the table working together to solve transportation challenges. In 2004, the latest year for which data is available, employers invested about $49 million in their CTR programs, which was $18 for every $1 invested by the state.

Get InvolvedRemoving Vehicles & Reducing Emissions

The CTR Program removes 20,700 vehicles from the state’s roadways every morning. Each year, CTR commuters reduce emissions of nearly 3,700 tons of air pollution through the choices they make. They also reduce petroleum consumption by about 5.8 million gallons, saving them over $13.7 million in fuel costs.

The drive alone rate among targeted employers has been reduced from 81.8% in 1993 to 72.5% in 2001. The most popular alternative to solo commuting, carpooling, has seen the largest increase in usage from 10.5% of trips in 1993 to 14.4% of trips in 2001.

Employers Affected By The CTR Law

The CTR law applies to both public and private employers that have 100 or more employees who work at a single worksite, and who are scheduled to begin their work between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. on two or more weekdays for at least 12 continuous months. This applies only to worksites in counties with the most congested state highways. Those counties are currently Clark, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Whatcom and Yakima. The law also includes the city government where an affected employer is located, regardless of their employee count. To learn if your worksite is CTR-affected or for more information on the CTR Law please contact us.

Get Involved

To find out more about your ridesharing alternatives visit the
Pierce Trips website for information on carpooling, vanpooling and bus routes or call Pierce Transit at (253) 581-8000.
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